Monday, February 20, 2012

My first Travel Expo experience [SMX Convention]

Hey Biyahera's & Biyahero's!

Did you go to this weekend's Travel Expo at SMX Convention? I did!!!

Well, to cap thing's off, the expo ran from February 17-19, 2012. I went on a Friday, so I was hoping there weren't going to be too many people yet. But since Rubel and I only took the MRT going to Mall of Asia (MOA), we already got there around 10 am. The line was pretty long by then, and it stretched and curved towards the direction of the newest MOA Eye. But waiting in line didn't take that long.


When we entered SMX, a P50 entrance fee was charged to us (valid for the whole day). Now, the convention wasn't that jampacked as what I expected it to be. So there was a lot of room to walk around without having to body bump with anybody. Of course, there were a lot of people going around the different booths. But the ones that caught our attention right away were the bulk of guests that all lined up at the Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air booths.


My boyfriend works for PAL, so we were already hoping to find some of his friends working that day. True enough, one of his closest friends was there, roaming around -- clutched to his clipboard of flight schedules. And who wouldn't pass up the chance to reserve right there and then, right?! So we ambushed him and started asking for our desired flight. But since he was also busy that morning, he just promised to find us a suitable schedule before the day ended. And after about 3 hours, he gave us the go signal to purchase the ticket. He had me booked for a flight, which Rubel paid for afterwards. Rubel already saw a lot of his batch mates. Some were manning the cashier & ticketing counters, so he was able to ask one of his friends to book the ticket for us. And before 4 PM came, I finally got my golden ticket! 

Rubel only bought one for me, since he already had a free ticket to use for any of his desired destination/s. *Just simply one of the many great perks of working for PAL.* But the best thing about that day was his connections/network. I know it was a hectic day for them, so I really couldn't stop thanking his friends for booking me this trip.

Entertainers [PAL Booth] 

Anyhow, while we were waiting for my booking reservations during the day, Rubel and I decided to walk around the convention. Since my kuya was also looking for cheaper alternatives for his US trip, we made it a point to ask for the most affordable deals. Good thing United Airlines had a booth. So we managed to inquire from them. 

Now, one thing that I noticed from UA was their Customer Service Representatives. I know they're the front liners and a lot is typically expected of them when it comes to assisting their guests. Well, the CSR ladies were super nice and all smiles, except for this one guy who looked all harassed. He carried with him this tired smile (it was still morning then), and always had this impatient tone when talking to his guests. I encountered this attitude, and it made me uncomfortable to ask more of my questions. Good thing the ladies from United were nice enough to answer all of my queries.

Pen From United Airlines, Bag from Japan Embassy, Pin from PAL 

Other than our United encounter, there were also other international booths. Singapore Airlines was there, as well as Qatar, Cathay, Etihad, and a few other ones. Travel agencies, as well as local resorts were also there. We even saw Mr. Jimenez, our current DOT secretary, giving a talk. *Such an amazing guy!* He's actually one of the people who helped create the famous slogan, "It's More Fun In The Philippines"


Ok, so we finally decided to go home after purchasing my ticket, as our feet were already too tired to walk any further. But all in all, our time in the Expo was well spent. We even got some goodies to take home! It was fun, and I would definitely go back next year, and buy my future plane tickets from there again.

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

58 comments:

  1. This travel expo looks awesome. Just perfect for travelers like you huh. Hey, how much is the ticket for a MOA Eye ride?

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    1. Hi there! Yes, it was the perfect place.. =)

      As for the MOA Eye, I've never tried it yet. But I heard that a regular ride costs P150, VIP Gondola's charged P200 (not yet sure if this was per person).

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  2. I love attending Travel Expos. It's fun.

    Marms

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    1. Hi Marms! Did you attend this year's travel expo? =)

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  3. Awww sayang di ako nakapunta. :|

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  4. It would be nice to attend a travel expo and be excited tor the various travel opportunities and discounts. PAL employees do have great perks when it comes to traveling. Why don't you try being a stewardess Mai? I'm sure you have what it takes to be one. =>

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  5. This coming Sept 28 mag'oopen na ang SM Lanang Premier may SMX na kami. Hopefully may ganun din gaya sa inyo. ^_^ TRAVEL EXPO in DAVAO.

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  6. oh, that was one tiring but worthy experience. :) I too has encountered a CSR who wasn't accommodating. I was really pissed and he really didn't deserve to be in the "front line!" I still feel angry whenever I remember that scene. >:/

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  7. nice event .. how i wish i was there. so lucky of you to have connections with the airline... i am thinking also making connection with you connecting me with your connections... whoaaa ... it turned to be a web now... hihihi ...

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  8. Where are you based Bella?

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  9. Oh, Franc.. How I wish the recruiters felt the same.. I've applied several times back when I was still young. Got invited to proceed through the application but always gets cut. :( Sadly, it's really not for me.. I guess they're not okay with the thought of me having tattoos, which are actually very concealable when applied with make-up. But really.. thank you for suggesting that.. it put a smile on my face pa din. :)

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  10. Oh, the newest SM mall pala in Davao! My fave coffee shop will open there rin (Green Coffee has one here in QC).. And if may SMX jan, I'm sure you'll have the same events rin soon. :)

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  11. Sad but true noh? His lucky because I still booked my kuya's ticket from UA.. he still had my business despite his bad character. I mean, if the ticket wasn't so affordable, I would've just ignored UA.

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  12. Hahahahaha! Funny humor as always! Why not? Pero the next time mapadaan ako sa ganito, secret na lang muna ang connections natin.. hahahah!

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  13. Why are Travel Expo always held in Manila? I hope they will also do that here in Davao City now that we already have SMX too. I really like to attend an event like this one =)

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  14. Oh, Pal Raine just said the same thing, now that SM Lanang is about to open. :) For sure, the SMX there will soon be hosting conventions such as this. :)

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  15. I also make it a point to go to travel expos when my sked allows. Most good deals are book and buy. You have to book and pay for it at the expo site. Looking forward to the next one.

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  16. Looks like a great event. Sad that I missed it since I was in Pampanga that time. It's really going to be a hard decision next year. Hot Air Balloon Festival or World Expo.

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  17. travel expo sounds cool! have a good flight ahead dear! and enjoy! xx

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  18. Great experience you have, I guess. Sayang I am not that travel-happy guy. Nevertheless, my wife should watch out for this travel expo. She's the one who digs for this.

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  19. ralph marcuss ManarangSeptember 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    Yung nag attend ako dati sa ganito sa sm rin pero naka limutan ko na. Dun ko din unang nakita si Dong Ho at si Pinaysolobackpacker.

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  20. Coool. haven't attended any of such events. Yes I know, I am missing lots of things in my life. Haha.

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  21. expos like this truly help promote tourism for the country

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  22. I had to smile at the bulk of people lined up in front of the airline booths. Just goes to show that a lot of people are into traveling and seeing more of the Philippines, if not the world, nowadays. I would like to believe that's partially because of the efforts of our travel bloggers. :)

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  23. Everything has a fee in the Philippines. The travel expo in Bangkok is more friendly to local and foreign tourists, I suppose. It's free for the entire period the expo is on. Oh well! That's how we roll, ika nga! ngerks! :D

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  24. I missed this event. I was supposed to be here. Unfortunately, some unexpected event incur. ;(

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  25. seems like an interesting event... me, i just go to the net to search for flights and stuff. but i love to be in a travel expo if given a chance. Yahweh bless.

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  26. This event is really fun. I was there but I didn't have any camera with me then as I just stopped by for some maps. ^_^

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  27. Thank GOD, there's Rubel by your side and help you to the highest level along with his colleagues. Your unpleasant acquaintance with that person with negative vibes... just charge it to experience. Anyways, you got what you want and the expo was after all a success.

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  28. You're right. That's why I really brought some money as I was keen on not leaving without a ticket on my hand. :)

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  29. oh, there's another travel expo at the same time, next year? Gosh.. want to see the hot air balloons too!!!

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  30. Hi Mary! Thank you.. we actually had a nice flight. I used the ticket last June, as we were bound for Ilocos. :)

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  31. Awww... don't you like to travel around anymore? :)

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  32. Waaah! That's so astig naman! Would actually love to meet Dong Ho in person! :)

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  33. How come you haven't attended any yet?

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  34. Waaaah!!! So excited for you guys! I'm sure SM Lanang will host such events and conventions soon. :)

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  35. I believe so too on the travel bloggers end. I was actually more encouraged to promote our country through my blog because I was so inspired by the passionate travel bloggers that I also followed then (even before Budget Biyahera was born). =)

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  36. Indeed, Rizza! Are you currently based in BKK? :)

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  37. Di bale, parang this year nakatatlong Travel Expo na. If not 3, baka 4.. so parang every quarter meron.. :)

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  38. Oh, it was!!! It's surely a different experience. :)

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  39. Siguro, the most picture worthy lang for me then was the stage, the #itsmorefuninthephilippines booth and the PAL entertainers.. hehe!

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  40. Oo nga, Ms. Marri.. Maswerte siya bumili pa din kami ng ticket sa company niya..

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  41. Wow. Why is the queue that long? Dami talagang mahilig mag travel at looking for good deals sa Travel Expo!

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  42. Yup! Feb 15-17, 2013 at the SMX Convention. They already posted it on their FB page. :)

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  43. There's a possibility that it might collide next year. The next Travel Expo is going to be Feb 15-17, 2013. No news yet on the final date for the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Some are saying it could be on Feb 7-10, 2013. Others are saying Feb 14-17. Crossing my fingers that it doesn't collide.

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  44. ralph marcuss ManarangSeptember 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    ano po bang meron kay dong ho?

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  45. Dong Ho kasi is well-known for his travel blog http://www.escapeislands.com/ --- He's also one of the travelers featured on the PHL360.com show. He's one of my idols! :)

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  46. So true, Sir Ted! Dahil marami na ding good travel deals, marami na din gusto mag-avail. Thus the long line of patrons.. :)

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  47. Oh!!!! I'm noting that now! Baka makahanap ako ng good deal for Japan. Thanks for the heads-up!!! :)

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  48. I really love Travel Expo! Best deals :))))

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  49. ralph marcuss ManarangOctober 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    hahahah kaya pala! Kasi pumunta din yun dati sa bahay kasi pupunta silang Calaguas Island! Punta rin kayo dun ang ganda!

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  50. GrantonWorld Philippines- a site that offers budget friendly and coolest travel deals ever.

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  51. Hi ask ko lang if yung way of buying kelangan na talaga magbayad once pinurchase yung promo? Or pwede magpareserve? And usually ba wala na natitira if last day pumunta? Thank you. First time ko kasi if ever :)

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  52. Hi Jamille! I won't be able to answer your question, as I haven't tried reserving any tickets before. But I know someone from PAL who said that making a ticket reservation is possible. But you'll have to pay it at a certain period/timeframe through their select ticket offices. As for the last day, that too, I'm uncertain about. I usually just attend on the 1st day. :P

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  53. Oh I didn't get the chance to visit the travel expo in the Philippines probably because I have not been reading a lot about marketing of this event.

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